Childbirth is unique for each birthing person, and you have many opportunities to personalize the experience. We recommend documenting your preferences in a birth plan.
While this can’t make labor and delivery any more predictable, it will ensure that your birthing team understands what’s important to you and may help you feel a little more prepared for the unexpected.
Here are some tips to help you create the best birth plan for your needs.
Once you have a sense of your ideal birthing experience, be sure to download our free birth plan template.
You may also want to consider working with a doula, a non-medically trained birth worker who can help advocate for you during labor.
You probably have a vision of how you want to give birth. A birth plan allows you to share that vision with your birthing team.
Labor doesn’t always go as expected, and you may need to depart from some aspects of your birth plan for the health of you and your baby. However, it's an essential starting point.
To ensure that labor and delivery reflect your wishes even if the ideal scenario isn’t possible, create a birth plan that leaves room for flexibility.
For instance, discuss your options for both vaginal and c section delivery with your provider and include your preferences for each in your plan.
Your birth plan should account for all aspects of childbirth, including aftercare and your baby’s first moments in the world. These are some of the most important questions to ask yourself.
Include the names and contact information of all the people you want present during labor.
Include information about allergies, other health conditions, and any medications you take.
Finalize the big components of your birth plan — specifically your birthing location and care team — as early as possible in your pregnancy.
Reviewing your birth plan with a provider will help you determine if the relationship is a good fit. If you have any concerns about their recommendations, remember you are always within your right to work with another.
You can focus on the remaining elements of your plan during the second trimester, if needed. As part of this process, be sure to ask all the questions you need to at your prenatal appointments.
The goal of a birth plan is to keep your birthing team on the same page, so everyone who will be present during labor should have a copy of it.
Take time reviewing your birth plan with your OB/GYN or midwife. If any of your preferences aren’t possible due to medical reasons, you’ll want to know before you arrive at your birthing location.
Nobody knows what you need better than you, and Ruth Health is here to support your birthing journey however we can.
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